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Everything posted by cladking

  1. It's hardly your fault that I find this thread so frustrating; it's largely my inability to agree with your statements though I recognize a great deal of truth in them. These statements I'm in far closer agreement with which was what I was hoping by posting at all. Indeed, I'm in agreement with all this except I'd tend to use different words and in my experience "emotions" tend to be a vector sum total reaction to events. In my opinion people believe what they want to believe and then their actions become a vector sum of their beliefs, knowledge, and learning. As we age we tend to become our beliefs and our lives reflect those beliefs. It is critical that young people understand the importance of the beliefs they adopt. The knowledge gained by modern science is extremely important and should be learned to the extent an individual is able to learn it. Factual knowledge, logic, math, and science must underlie peoples' thinking but it's important to stop far short of "believing in science". In extreme cases this belief will close your eyes to what's going on around you. If you don't see a few astounding things and investigate something everyday then you might have a far too narrow focus. You might be missing the big picture. By the same token if you see everything in terms of religion or astrology then you are missing the bigger picture. I'm not suggesting that there's a right or wrong way to live but I believe our understanding of science has been divorced from reality and from nature. We distill natural processes in the lab to study them or to turn them into technology but we never seem to reintegrate the knowledge or to add it to the metaphysics (here defined as the means of learning about nature through modern science). People not only become divorced from nature but they can become two dimensional. It's no better to adopt purely religious beliefs; or any beliefs at all. We have barely scratched the surface of what there is to know so saying that anything at all is "supernatural" is highly superstitious. Who are we to write rules for nature and define the "supernatural". Some things are much more easily explained than others. The ancients appear to have believed people have hundreds of senses. Where are they now? How did they accomplish their great feats with superstition and surpernatural abilities. Nothing jives and I pin much of the problem on language. Wearing my finger to the bone rarely results in people understanding my point. It appears that it's the divorce from nature caused by language which is the cause of superstition and the belief in the supernatural or the belief in the impossibility of the supernatural. We use language for most thought and the structural grammar of language for most of the rest. Language can be deconstructed so meaning is usually lost. Most of us can think clearly enough because we've had 4000 years to repair the flaws and we would never have to ask ourselves something like "what do mean by "metaphysics"?". We don't trip over our own words or phraseology... ...we trip over everyone else's and pick up strange beliefs.
  2. This thread is frustrating for me as well. I believe people are naturally superstitious and highly prone to adopting beliefs which prevent them from proper understanding and observation. The study of consciousness using language as the tool is not likely going to lead to much new knowledge. I don't believe we have any choice at this time but to consider it a given or a black box problem and to to accept that it is widespread in nature. Since we exist inside this black box there are certainly some insights to be gained directly. Nature is exceedingly complicated even if most of her aspects appear extremely simple to us. It is simple superstition to suggest nothing exists beyond our knowledge and this belief is, has been, and (apparently) will remain the greatest weakness of mankind. It's ironic that this superstition appears to have arisen from the ruins of babel.
  3. What if each of us lives in a world that is unique with unique physical laws, history, and future? I'm not suggesting this is the actuality merely that it makes more sense than the absurd and inane theories flowing from every direction. Education merely leads people to a shared reality which is based on beliefs and the foundations which produced that reality. We experience surrealism when different realities come into conflict and must resolve. This would explain how we survived our childhoods and how we are each right. It would explain how we don't even seem to notice all the confusion. Injustice is shrugged off as inconsequential. The denial of the existence of others tends to lead to madness and the denial consciousness is a dead end. But it's obvious that few people are on the same page. Mebbe we're all reading from different books? God willing this won't be yet another new religion.
  4. Our hosts seem very sensitive to drifting off topic. Suffice to say I believe there is adequate reason to believe that no ancient religion existed and we mistake ancient science as religion. The ancient metaphysics was language and we remember the failure of the ancient language (it got too complicated) as the story of the Tower of Babel. Eventually I'll try another thread with the extensive evidence in this forum or in speculations but at this time I'm still trying to get a feel for the culture here. I'd be happy to discuss it in PM's if you desire. Few people are aware that almost no knowledge of the great pyramid builders survives and what exists is all speculation and assumption. I believe the reason people have lost sight of modern metaphysics is that it is so simple. Certainly keeping track of all the experimental results is more complicated but if we don't forget the definitions and axioms most of the battle is won. If you mean you're optimistic about the ability of science to progress then you might well be correct. My concern is that we've been on the verge of the unified field theory for so long that it's possible we might be stuck.
  5. I believe the Greek understanding had to take a backseat to the ancient Egyptians. The Greeks invented "impetii" to explain inertia which is at least somewhat antirational. The Egyptians simply named it much as we do without ascribing motivation or implying some consciousness. The Greeks probably borrowed most "philosophy" from the Egyptians but the ancient metaphysics was all lost at Babel so they were left to fill in the blanks with modern language and definitions. Each time we increase knowledge a million fold we'll probably gain about another 1% increase in the total understanding of nature, but I fear our metaphysics might not quite be up to the job of getting us to that first 1% understanding. If true, this might in a sense be a philosophical problem but it probably more reflects nature itself. Almost all of nature's behavior when viewed in isolation is exceedingly simple but in its entirety is usually impossibly complex. It appears that nature exists on unimaginably small and large scales in all dimensions. It appears as though there are quanta of everything and even, perhaps, space itself. Very little cutting edge science involves processes that can be directly observed. I believe the solution to the current problem (assuming science really is bogging down) will involve philosophical, logical, and mathematical adjustment to the metaphysics. To some extent this is already occurring though it is informal. Certainly cutting edge science hasn't been strictly observation and experiment for a good long while so to this degree is not pure science.
  6. It truly is both. The amount of data available on the diversity of subjects is simply astounding. To say we know a million times more than the pyramid builders is a sort of understatement. But, this data is largely formless because it does not directly impact theory. Just because we can print reems of data on a fungus growing on the back leg of a bark beetle that lives in spruce trees doesn't mean we can see the forest. We can carefully measure the strenght and speed of gravity but otherwise we know no more about its nature than the ancients. Our knowledge is very broad but still quite shallow. Our ability to apply the knowledge we have is quite poor (other than to technology) .
  7. You wouldn't be disagreeing with me. I believe metaphysics for all practical purposes is the meaning of modern science. It certainly is the basis of science and defines its results. Even ancient science was probably defined by its metaphysics though that metaphysics was language. How ironic that it's primarily semantics and language at issue in this thread. Philosophy and science are mostly distinct but have some overlap. Science sprang full born from philosophy. Metaphysics is the meaning of science before and after the fact. Modern sience is rooted in observation and experiment but we need definitions before the fact and words to understand and communicate the results afterward. This thread simply supports what I've been saying since even before my recent research into ancient science: We need to concentrate much more on teaching the metaphysics starting in first grade and then never stop. We tend to assume that everyone is up on metaphysics because it is so simple but this has proven to be the stumbling point. It is this problem that has led to widespread misapplication and misunderstanding of science. It has provided most people with a gross overestimation of the knowlkedge developed to date. It leads to the virtually ubiquitous false statements made about nature by most people and even many scientists.
  8. This is why I like using the definition of "metaphysics" to be the tools, definitions, and axioms used to understand something rationally. In "science" "metaphysics" includes past observation and experimental results. Science is highly dependent on metaphysics but metaphysics and philosophy are distinct subjects with some overlap. I believe philosophy is good to study and by no means "crap" but much of it is language and modern language is open to interpretation. I believe far more attention should be paid to the metaphysical underpinnings of science because these define what science actually is. You don't have to have what we call "philosophy" to understand science though it's the same reason that founded both and science sprang from philosophy. I'm not sure most of us aren't saying the same thing in different words.
  9. I think what we have here is a failure to communicate. Indeed, I believe that philosophy is an attempt to establish communication with our confused language. Of course philosophy is incapable of establishing anything beyond question or dispute because it is expressed in language that must be deconstructed to be understood. It actually does a pretty good job because terms are well defined. To a limited extent philosophy underlies science itself but it would be more true to say that science is a child of philosophy as is math. One needn't understand philosophy to understand science but one needs to understand philosophy to understand the implications of and applications for science as well as its technology. I don't follow some of these points but it's mostly because people understand things differently. As I use the term "metaphysics" it is not only the very basis of science; its definitions and axioms, but also the meaning of the galaxy of experimental results. There really is no science at all without metaphysics beyond an observation or experiment. Metaphysics is not only the meaning of our science but, in all probability, any observationally based science. This "metaphysics" and "philosophy" are closely entwined. We can use terms to mean what we want but the duty of an individual is primarily to understand nature and his place in it, and secondarily to communicate thoughts. My opinion is that people play far too fast and loose with language and that it should change and evolve is mere superstition. Yes, changes toward better and more precise communication are good but other changes and change for the sake of change are among the greatest evils.
  10. I'm actually in very close agreement except that I'm sure the truth will turn out to be far more complex than anyone can imagine. We know the tiniest fraction of 1% of everything there is to know and there's no certainty we'll ever have something approaching complete knowledge. It's entirely possible that even time and space have quantum characteristics. Perhaps all of reality is interchangeable as readily as mass and energy. Our knowledge might become seen as just a very simplistic way of understanding nature. I believe we need a new tack to cosmology and and most cutting edge science because we are approaching the point where further progress is virtually impossible with current tools and current metaphysics. Of course new tools will be invented and new results will change our metaphysics but without an understanding of the basic forces progress might be impossible. Einstein thought he was on the verge nearly three quarters of a century ago yet here we remain. If he was correct and it hasn't happened in all this time it might be because we're at the limitation imposed by our tools. There seems to be a widespread belief here that all science must be the result of connecting the dots and doing all the work. In real life most advancements are really much more the result of intuition and one simply doesn't need to be well versed in current research to have intuition. While be able to do the math and knowing cutting edge science are critical (probably) in cosmology and partical studies it is far less important in the fringes of science. There is simply no reason someone can't bypass decades of science by making some lucky connection. If this occurs the individual will need knowledge and logic but the knowledge might be more visceral than quantifiable. Nature displays her secrets for all to see and maybe it will simply take a slightly different perspective for someone to discover the connection between gravity and the other forces. Maybe the connection is only they are unique in some unknown way, or in all ways. The inability of some people to express themselves in math does not negate their ideas. In some areas there's a distinct tendency to dismiss new ideas simply because they are new. I suppose I'm just rambling but my perspective is very different than most peoples'. It may not have happened yet but one day someone will come along and post some crazy new idea on this site or one like it that will be a small leap forward. I'm hardly qualified to spot it but I can tell if something rings true or not. This is my point, though; much of what we call "science" is not. We don't live in a "scientific" era but rather a technological era. It isn't science we should be promoting so much as the type of thinking engendered by science. Instead we waste resources and despoil the planet while preparing for war.
  11. Of course most of the excesses are on the very fringes of science but this hardly leaves any of science wholly unaffected. From global warming to the latest fads on eating right almost everything is affected to some degree. We are allowing manufacturers to pump sodium tripolyphosphate and water into all sorts of meat despite the fact that this chemical has no known benefits and has never been scientifically tested on humans. It comes from China with the sole purpose of cheating consumers by making them buy water and is only 98% pure. I shudder to think what these impurities are. LTCM thought they invented a financial instrument that could only make money by predicting the future in 1996 and heralded the financial perturbations that resulted in great recession of 2008. Yet, these instruments are not only still legal but are continually being expanded. Their function is to make it possible to take million dollars out of a purse that holds no more than a thousand dollars. I seriously doubt mother nature is amused by any of this or any of the shenanigans going on but most have the blessing of science or scientists. We consume more energy and money to make alcohol than the energy it contains or its value. This is simple math yet no one is screaming bloody murder. We waste far more resources than what is needed so where is the science? Financial resources in the sciences go to theory with military applications. Few corporations spend more than trifling amounts any longer on research. None of this is to say there's something wrong with scientific theory or philosophy. The problems are in application, execution, metaphysics, and bases. Everyone owes it to himself and society to learn as much science as he can and is useful to that individual. Everyone should be a trained observer at the very least. All scientists should spend more effort separating what they believe from what is known. Things that are false will tend to fail of their own. It's very difficult now days to assess scientific theory as an outsider. I used to be something of an insider at one time but this was long ago. Now, the educational system failure has brought down the news media. There's no longer a good way for we outsiders to tell a real scientist from the wannabes. Even Hawking recently came out saying he's disproved a "Creator" so who can be trusted? My own intersts are much narrower (and focused) than they were and cosmology won't interest me again until there's a unified field theory with experimental justification, probably. I'm confident that search engines will rewrite most human endeavor much more quickly than people think is possible. The net will prove a revolutionary force.
  12. I meant scientists. Once you can get over the improbability of being able to see through a solid the rest of optics falls in place pretty well. Rainbows can be exceedingly complex and over my head. http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/72868-rainbows-from-flames/?hl=rainbow
  13. There are countless such areas and I fear I might be considered Off Topic if I mention the one I'm most familiar with but I'll include it as an example because of my familiarity. This really applies across the board so I don't like singling out any field to ridicule. In all fields there are numerous sincere, capable, and highly knowledgeable people. Perhaps one of the most laughable boondoggles of recent times was a movement back in the '80's to provide profoundly autistic people with "fascilitators". This was the ultimate in "ouije board" science as they actually sometimes used such devices to communicate with these people. Someone got it in his head that autistic people were merely trapped in their heads with no means to communicate and tens of thousands suddenly had "help" writing books and the like. Of course there was no communication. Many people believe that "Egyptology" is a science but they'd very surprised to know that no books survive from the era of great pyramid building. No microscopic forensic analysis of any great pyramnid has ever been done. Most of the actual science that has been allowed to be done flies in the face of what they already "know". They've never even done simple infrared imaging of G1 which would positively show how it was built! There are natural formations growing on the walls below these pyramids but they haven't undergone simple testing to show what they are. There is ancient water under G1 in a man made system that has never been tested! ... and the area never excavated. But they all will shout down any ideas that don't fit their assumptions in unison and claim extensive evidence that it can't be true. The actual evidence, the little evidence they allow to be found, fails to support their assumptions. These are the facts. This isn't to say that they can't be right, merely that the evidence doesn't support it. Only interpretations of (some of) the evidence support the contentions. Many of the modern beliefs about the pyramids and ancient Egyptians didn't exist 2000 years ago. Some are even newer still.
  14. Again, you're talking about actual science. Our understanding of mechanics and optics are likely to be pretty good, though even this is hardly a certainty. What about all those "scientific" fields that have very little experiment to support them? Even scientific observation can be difficult to apply to some subjects yet they can masquerade as "science". The boondoggles and excesses such fields are known for persist to the current time yet they get defended as good science. In these fields new ideas are usually ignored or demeaned rather than craved. The way I think of it is in a hundred years most of what we know today will be overturned or rewritten. I'm just getting a headstart. A lot of what I studied in college is obsolete. Take a good look at the 1900 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. It is highly dated. I've long believed a huge component of scientific progress (to a lesser extent ancient science) is the simple availability of scientific gadgets and lab equipment. People play with this stuff and make insights into nature and it allows them to make the measurements that disclose unknowns. We are going to find that the computer/ internet/ google will be something of a "pandora's box" that unleashes the future and is a game changer of untold proportions. It was language that lifted man out of the caves and writing that led to the explosion of knowledge which caused the first game to end. It was the printing press that fueled the scientific revolution and brought about the industrial revolution in time. Now in short order instant communication and the ability to research anything at all will bring new revolutions that will change not only scientists but science as well.
  15. Actually I can watch the satellite pictures and get a better feel for coming weather than the weather service. Of course they can be right for months on end and I'm wrong much more frequently. I do a little better job with the long range forecast than they do, I believe, but they rarely post one further than seven days out so it's hard to be sure. I tend to consistently be about 70% accurate and they often achieve about 98% accuracy for months on end and then go through short periods they get it all wrong. I can't predict the path of hurricanes at all and must be missing something fundamental. I'm sure they are pushed by highs but they seem able to push back as well. I knew New Orleans was flooded several hours before the Army Corps of Engineers figured it out. Of course this was one of the few times they were grossly incompetent. They didn't have a clue until they dispatched a truck to investigate reports of flooding and found the highway under water in the morning. From the flood's viewpoint is was truly the big easy.
  16. Certainly no insult intended but I make my own bread and I can think of countless reasons that one wouldn't go to a bakery. There are numerous costs to going to the bakery and some can't afford some of those costs. In real science like physics or computer design there is a good product and it would be hard to beat making your own but many sciences are "science" in name only and use of the store bought brand might cause severe internal issues. The world has seen new ideas to arise simultaneously everywhere with the speed of communications over the last 150 years. Now, we just might see the rise of new ideas spawned by the internet and the ability to search broad spectra of data with the use of search engines and the pooling of ideas on message boards. Progress is the history of language and no greater advancement to language has ever occurred to language since "Adam" named the animals. History is the history of consumer demand. All the world is a dance and man is out of step.
  17. Ironically I was too busy posting to get your note in a timely fashion. http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/72725-is-mathematics-alone-a-safe-medium-for-exploring-the-frontiers-of-science-or-should-observation-and-hypothesis-lead-in-front/page-6 I was half expecting a little "friendly fire" when I opened this thread.
  18. Dance and music can be expressed well mathmatically as well. Math is critical and essential for almost all modern technology but a bird doesn't need to calculate the radii when employing a twig to lever an insect out of a hiding place. My grandmother doesn't need to understand the operation of internal combustion engines while explaing to a cop she couldn't have been going 60 miles an hour because she was at home only five minutes before. As things become more everyday and mundane they can become understood on any number of levels. Yes, at this time it's been true for decades that the fronteirs of physics are owned by math but who's to say that this can't change and some other method sometimes become more effective. As higher and higher tech becomes understood by more people in their various ways who's to say no breakthrough can be made by a dancer or swimmer? Math will always be, and has always been, the language of science but this is as much for its ability for precision and expression as its ability to make new discoveries. So long as nature can be expressed by math it will be. It's difficult to imagine Star Trek's Q, God, or nature sitting down and doing the math before their next miracle.
  19. You're certainly in excellent company. Many scientists have thought and many still think the world is deterministic. A mechanical universe was the prevailing view in the 19th century. I don't believe there is a shred of evidence to support this view and it is nothing but interpretation and extrapolation from countless experiments. Even one experiment that denies a theory is sufficient though. There seems ample logic to dismiss the idea. Even before I began work on redeveloping ancient science I had given up the idea that anything can be predicted. We can engineer events or we can "predict the past" and apply it to the future but the future will always be determined by events that happen in the future and these events are largely the result of chance.
  20. I think you're wrong on far more levels than I can imagine. Have you ever played pool? Ever try a combination shot where you hit a ball driving it into a second ball which in turn drives a third ball into a pocket. These balls are spherical and can be seen to model the laws of motion (most of the time). They are huge and the three of them can take up 5% of their combined trajectory. Only the best players can make such shots and even the best will require half a second to lay it out in his mind before attempting it. What you're proposing is essentially a quadrillion ball combination shot with balls that are nearly infinitely small, of unknown size and shape, and flying about in a heavy soup of other balls and forces which we don't even understand. We could never gain the computational ability to projecvt more than the tiniest fraction of a second intoi the future even if we could somehow learn the places and trajectories of the particals. Even at that there would be errors everywhere because we can will never find two things that are identical and these dissimilarities between reality and our observations will play havoc on future states. Further, you are assuming that there is no such thing as free will. You might claim you're making no such claim but, of course you are. If the future is predictable at all then you'd know if my great great grandson will have one apple or two apples. Such things are as unknowable as why a butterfly flaps it's wings in China at the exact right instant to cause a typhoon in India. All life follows a choreographed script but there is room in the dance for the butterfly to flap its wings at one moment or 2.73 seconds later. There is room for a boy to have one apple or two. On another level it's nearly irrelevant anyway if the universe really were so predictable since the computational ability to project it would require the room taken up by an infinite number of universes. Reality simply can't work the way you are suggesting.
  21. This is simply untrue. Even everything that happens is effectively a statistical impossility. The tiniest grain of sand had to cleave from a boulder in exactly the right way and be worn by collisions while segregating with other grains by waves dancing on the tide. You can't even properly address the impossility of what exists far less make predictions about how a grain of sand will cause a catastrophy leading to political turmoil in 25 years. Tolstoy might have made his statement in a different way; "War and Piece". This ship has sailed. It is what it is and no kind of infinity can change it. We can't and never will be able to predict anyrthing at all. The world is choreographed not determined. The dance is impossibly complex and humans no longer see their cues but it dances along without us. It's funny that it was a simple question about a coin that got me started on one of my current tacks. It was asked where the terms "heads and tails" originated. Like many etymologies this might not be so simple as it sounds because people have long played fast and loose with language. Flippping coins has long interested me on several levels anyway and primarily as a magician who can make it come up either. The aerodynamics are also interesting since most US coins sail more cleanly with the "tails" side up; it tends to be the default position when all else is equal. The word for "coin" actually originated in a fossil which is a large component of the Great Pyramid. It was an animal that lived in the ocean that was disc shaped. These might have been used for currency even before the invention of money which was simply official weights of silver and gold stamped by an authority. These animals had a dorsal and ventril side and there's some limited evidence that the Greeks (who actuall "coined" the term "numis") tarred the dorsal side to fascilitate differentiation when they played games with them. This is all speculative, of course, at this point in time. "Heads" became the side with the bust and "tails" was the opposite. So what are the odds of a flipped coin coming up "heads"? If you use a US quarter then what are the odds that Washington ever even existed? What are the odds he'd toss a silver dollar across the Potomac or become president? What are the odds that the quarter you're flipping was made before the aerodynamics were reversed in 1996? What effect does the wear on the older version have on the odds of the flip? What are the chances that a meteor will destroy the coin while still in the air? Perhaps this is a good perspective; there are only two odds for anything 0% or 100%.
  22. Time divided by the speed of light is the butterfly Where wing numbers are even it is harmonic and where odd, it is chaotic. As it flutters by, it knows It knows of wind, and food, and bats. It knows of of sun, and dew, and rainbows. ...Or maybe a thinking machine created itself by inventing man to build it.
  23. Truth to tell I wasn't even comfortable using the word "magnitude" in this context. There is a sort of gentle butchering of the language here to make a point. This is a concept that seems to be screamed in the beliefs of the ancients. But to them it was almost axiomatic due to their perspective so was probably rarely stated in any form. It's easy to imagine other realities and we have no means to disprove them but, unless we stumble on the truth in such explorations these other realities will always prove fruitless. We need to stick to what we know and to try to see it from all possible perspectives. Hypothesis formation becomes automatic. If you consider that human knowledge has grown exponentially since the pyramid building age this makes our world many orders of magnitude more complex than theirs. This will continue ad infinitum but we'll never be able to predict anything and for practical purposes are moving away from it in some regards or at least, coming to recognize the impossibility.
  24. I'll try to keep up with you but may not comment a lot. I've been trying to comprehend thought since I was very young. Early on I decided to treat the mind as the natural product of the brain but as a "black box problem". Over the years I've come to understand that the "brain" is far to tightly defined and actually includes the entire body and especially its ganglions. Most of our "brain" we can not access because signals won't travel both ways in the more "primitive" parts of the brain. I'm not convinced that "mind" is necessarily even relevant to understanding nature. Animals understand nature sufficiently for their needs and what sets man apart is much more language (that allows progress) than it is intelligence, soul or any of the other things people generally believe. This isn't to say I don't think "mind" is important because it certainly defines an individual's reality. Typing can be pretty tough on me sometimes as well and is never easy. The "plasticity" concept interests me but I can "change my mind" if I choose so might be of limited utility.
  25. It is a virtual impossibility for even this state to exist. There aren't enough electrons in the universe to express this in binary. It would require 4.2 x 10 ^ 807,000 monkeys and typewriters just to get "War and Peace". The odds against Tolstoy's existence are astronomically higher than this. There are an infinite number of ways to make any point and Tolstoy was not limited to a single book or tactic. Perhaps he was influenced by his diet which was unique to his time and place. Certainly finding apples from so long ago is difficult. With all the impossibility in the here and now and our near total inability to understand or predict it, why should we imagine that anything else is possible? Events will continue to unfold in ways we can't predict no matter how well we understand nature's laws in the future. We might be able to bend much of nature to our will as part of technology but where we don't control events they will forever remain unpredictable (and those things we do control will suffer unpredictable breakdowns and flaws). This is the nature of nature itself. Time passage is where events unfold and every event is statistically impossible to almost infinite magnitude.
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